Category Archives: Books

Novel Review: Sea of Tranquility

No star burns forever.

Emily St. John Mandel has always played with genre. The post-apocalyptic Station Eleven won accolades in both literary and SF circles, while Glass Hotel, a novel about a Ponzi Scheme, brushed against the edges of SF and Fantasy.

Some of Glass Hotel‘s characters reappear in her most recent novel, while the ghosts of Station Eleven haunt the book. It’s a time-travel story, set in pasts, presents, and futures.

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Novel Review: Chasing the Boogeyman

When I first started clipping newspaper articles and jotting down notes about the tragic events that transpired in my hometown of Edgewood, Maryland, during the summer and autumn of 1988, I had no thoughts of one day turning those scattered observations into a full-length book (1).

Richard Chizmar, successful suspense writer and friend of Stephen King, reimagines his early days as a writer but inserts a serial killer into his home town. We have a weird, suspenseful blend of real history and biography and an entirely fictional series of murders. It has become the Halloween novel of 2021.

Does it live up to the hype?

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Novel Review: The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

“Ambush!” Ming turned and shouted behind them. “Ambush!” he raised his gun and shot the two lead riders in quick succession, their riderless horses running out from underneath them and galloping panicked onward (85).

A Chinese-American railway worker, accompanied by a blind seer, heads across a magic-realist old west seeking revenge and hoping to reunite with his wife.

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Novel Review: A Desolation Called Peace

Arkady Martine’s debut novel A Memory Called Empire received multiple award nominations and won the Hugo for best novel. The first in a series, it was followed in March of 2021 with this novel, with more of the conflicts and intrigue involving the future Teixcalaanli Empire, the “barbarian” human settlements in its environs, and some very interesting extraterrestrials.

The more you explore your reality, internal and external….

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Novel Review: Afterland

“You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months.”

Lauren Beukes has established a name as a writer who crosses literary, SF, and other genres, producing some of the best speculative titles of this century. Penned before the current pandemic but not published until 2020, Afterland has most of the male human population die from a plague that hit in, as it happens, 2020. The overwhelmingly female future is no women’s paradise. Our protagonist, Cole, and her son, Miles, find themselves on a nightmarish road trip, with representatives of legal and criminal enterprises in pursuit. Among her adversaries: her own sister, accompanied by a pair of mercenaries.

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